Thursday, September 6, 2012

New Website, Same RSS Feed

Please see our new website at www.apl.org/kids/staffpicks for content that used to be published here. If you would like to double-check your settings, the content feed has remained http://feeds.feedburner.com/aplstaffpicksforkids.

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

The Lonely Existence of Asteroids and Comets

It’s a big universe out there, and information about it can be overwhelming. Teacher and author Mark Weakland helps to make sense of the nature of asteroids and comets in this graphic novel-style book from the “Graphic Library Adventures in Science” series by Capstone Press.   Text boxes chock full of information on these objects from space are framed and complemented by cosmic cartoon panels by artist Carlos Aón.   Different aspects of nature of comets and asteroids are covered, including what they are, what they are made of, their impact on the solar system, and earth (and dinosaurs) in particular, what people in earlier civilizations thought about them, and what and how scientists have found out about them.  The author also raises questions about the future of space observation and exploration for readers to ponder.  The information is organized into chapters, making it even easier for readers to take in.

Recommended for Grades 3-6


 The Lonely Existence of Asteroids and Comets by Mark Weakland (2012)

Monday, August 27, 2012

Fancy Nancy Poet Extraordinaire!

Fancy Nancy is back and better than ever in this newest addition to the series.  In a fun scrap-book style collage Fancy Nancy teaches young readers about different types of poetry including nursery rhymes, lyrics, limericks, odes and couplets.  With a flair for the dramatic Nancy creates her own palace of poetry stocked with inspiration until she suffers from writers block.  With a little inspiration and support from her teacher Nancy is able to write a fantastic poem to share with her classmates.  A great read for children that enjoy poetry or for children who are interested in learning more about poetry.

Ages 4-8

Fancy Nancy Poet Extraordinaire!, by Jane O'Connor (2010)

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

The Princess and the Packet of Frozen Peas

This fractured version of "The Princess and the Pea" stars Prince Henrik, who is ready to get married  He wants a girl who likes hockey and camping, plus has a nice smile.  He asks his brother, Prince Hans, for advice, and observes his sister-in-law Princess Eva, a sensitive (read: whiny) princess.  Henrik decides he wants the very opposite of Princess Eva, and performs the opposite of the typical princess test by putting a full bag of frozen peas under a thin mattress.  Many girls do not pass the test, until Henrik discovers how wonderful an old friend is--instead of complaining about the peas, she found a clever use for them.  This book is recommended for all would-be princesses. If you haven't already, read the original story first in order to guarantee that you and/or your child will understand why the story is funny.  (My personal favorite version of the original is the title illustrated by Rachel Isadora). 

Recommended for children in kindergarten through grade 3.

The Princess and the Packet of Frozen Peas, by Tony Wilson (2009)

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Young Fredle

Fredle, a small house mouse, indulges in a delicious peppermint pattie, becomes ill, and is pushed out of the family nest. Tossed outside from the farmer’s wife’s dust pan, he is left to die or survive on his own. He befriends Sadie the dog (Sadie, a simple-minded border collie from Voigt’s earlier book, Angus and Sadie in the Davis Farm series) and a few field mice, who become valuable allies. New dangers await—owls, the barnyard snake, and an outlaw gang of raccoons planning to fatten him for their feast. Scared and lonely, Fredle scrambles to overcome challenges and succeed through his wits and resourcefulness. He figures out that the delicacies in the compost heap can only be eaten in moderation or he will be unable to flee. Who can he trust? Which way is home? The outside world is full of wonders like the rain, the moon, the stars, the grass and much more, but he yearns for his home and family. Voigt takes readers on a fascinating, nonstop adventure from a mouse’s view of the world. Fredle matures, while developing an awareness and appreciation for newfound independence. He adapts to life’s challenges and returns a hero. Readers will relate to his youthful spirit and fall in love with Fredle. This is a quality novel by award-winning author Cynthia Voigt (Newbery Medal for Dicey’s Song) that is comparable to Charlotte’s Web, The Tale of Despereaux and Stuart Little.  Visit the  website www.cynthiavoigt.com to learn more about the author and her books.

Recommended for ages 8 – 11.

Young Fredle, by Cynthia Voigt (2011)

Monday, August 13, 2012

The Resisters

This is the first book in a series designed for young readers who like fast-paced, space, science fiction adventures.  There are many elements of space machines, large fighting insects, and alien interactions. 

Set in the future, the story follows twelve-year-old Ethan Blackwood as he uncovers the truth about the Earth and finds his place in a fight against an enemy he never knew existed.  Ethan has always known exactly what he wants: to win the state soccer championship, to get into the best high school, and to become an astronaut.  But when he is kidnapped by Madison and Felix, he is told that his life isn’t as normal as he thinks.  Nothing is really as he thought it was.  They tell him that over 50 years ago the earth was taken over by mind-controlling aliens and that everyone he knows is under their control.  The only people the aliens aren’t able to control are the children who have not reached puberty.   Ethan doesn't want to believe them, but when he sees the aliens' monster bug robots and the incredible way that Madison and Felix have learned to fight them he has no choice but to accept the obvious.  

The fighting to save the earth is done by the children that have not become brain-washed.  Does Ethan become a resister and help with the resistance?  Will the plight of the world depend upon the small band of resistors that are hidden underground? 

The action will make it hard to put the book down.  The story is geared for Ages 9 – 12 or grades 4 – 8.

The Resisters, by Eric Nylund (2011)